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Virgin Bourbon

Nose: Pretty bland. There’s a slight touch of sweetness and corn, but not a whole lot else going on. Palate: This beast is interesting. The first thing I have to say is, like the venerable Rittenhouse in the Rye world, if you tasted this blind, you probably wouldn’t guess it was 101 proof. Secondly, the nose doesn’t give you much hope, but the taste surprised me. If you like a sweet whiskey (like I do), this one would definitely be up your alley, especially for the money. If I had to guess, before looking it up, I’d suspect that there is some wheat in the mashbill. The label states it is a 7 year old and I don’t doubt it because I don’t detect any “shine” flavor that would immediately class it as a young bourbon. It is not harsh and doesn’t burn, but it has that nice slow, warming finish that you feel all the way down. The absolutely weirdest thing is, on the first sip, at the very end of a decently long finish, my tongue and the inside of my mouth started to tingle slightly. It was definitely more pronounced on the first sip and hardly noticeable in subsequent sips. I let this one sit for a while and it actually improved after sitting in the glass for a while. Comments: I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much from this one, but it really surprised me in a good way. This bottle has sat, un-opened for while, so I’m kinda bummed it took so long to try, but am now glad I did. Maybe circumstances were “just right”, but at the price point on this one, I would recommend it as a good one to try to see if you like it too. Like a lot of folks, I thing the “sweet spot” for bourbon lies somewhere in the 6-12 year range, so I’m not too surprised that this one, at 7 years old, is pretty good. What is surprising is the cost (under $20 for a 750ml). This appears to be a Heaven Hill product, but of all the ones I’ve tried in the past few days, I think this one comes out on top. I expected it to be similar to the Tom Sims 6 year old, but, I don’t know if it is the extra year or what, but I liked this one better. Oh….one more thing. I’ve had this bottle for while. It appears that they have recently removed the age statement from this one. I often recommend Benchmark (made by Buffalo Trace) and a good, inexpensive bourbon, but I think I’d rank this one higher (if for no other reason, because of the sweetness I love!). This clocks in at 101 proof.

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